It seems almost fitting that on a night of firsts for FC Frederick, the youngest and oldest members on the field delivered the program’s most significant result to date.
Jake Gosselin, who recently finished his freshman year in college, and Saidou Toure, a 32-year-old veteran, scored goals in the first 29 minutes and FC Frederick ousted Fredericksburg FC 2-1 in the NPSL Mid-Atlantic Conference semifinals Wednesday night at Urbana High School.
With FC Frederick’s home field unavailable, the team moved the match — its first-ever playoff contest — to Urbana, where two of the team’s players starred in high school. The end result was a first-ever game at Urbana and a first-ever home contest under the lights, and ultimately a first-ever playoff victory.
Coupled with Legacy 76’s upset win over previously undefeated Virginia Beach City FC on Wednesday, FC Frederick will host Legacy on Saturday in the Mid-Atlantic Conference final.
“Thing are just lining up for us,” FC Frederick coach Chris Spinks said. “We had set the goal of making the playoffs. When we learned all four teams were making the playoffs, the goal was to host a playoff game. I told the boys, our next goal is to win the conference and let’s see how far we can go.”
Spinks has been preaching all season that FC Frederick has a good mix of experience and know-how in players such as Toure, and drive and hunger in youthful players such as Gosselin. Gosselin and Toure are tied for the team lead in goals.
After a pair of sluggish starts in recent matches, FC Frederick came out in complete control of Fredericksburg FC in the first half. Ten minutes into the match, Toure’s pass sprung Gosselin, who finished for a 1-0 lead. Nineteen minutes later, a cross from Tommy Spear landed at the feet of Toure, who was alone at the 6-yard box, and the native of France powered a shot into the net for a 2-0 lead.
Toure has been a thorn for Fredericksburg this year. His first-ever NPSL goal on June 3 gave FC Frederick a 1-0 win over Fredericksburg, an early season result that vaulted the team to the top of the league standings. His goal Wednesday was his first of the year, tying him with Gosselin as the team leader.
“This is one of the most important wins I’ve been a part of,” Toure said. “I’m 32 and I’m enjoying being with these guys. The boys are hungry and I want to follow them. We want this for the city.
In the closing minute of the first half, Fredericksburg’s Ivan Sakou’s cross deflected off an FC Frederick player for the team’s lone goal. Sakou was credited with the score.
After a clean first half with a total of three fouls, things got tense in the second half with three yellow cards and 10 fouls.
FC Frederick had several chances to extend the lead, but ended up playing strong defense, led by Jadon Ramsing and Jake Wilkinson, to lock down the result. FC Frederick held a 12-6 advantage in shots, and FC Frederick keeper Phil Breno was not challenged while collecting three saves.